Ever struggle with consistency or intimacy in God’s word? Me too. The problem for me is I am a very structured person, and I never found a way to have structure in my personal time. But a year and a half ago, I was taking a class at Harding School of Theology called “Transformational Teaching,” and in this class I was introduced to a simple and powerful way to study God’s word. My teacher called it “Dwelling in the Word,” but you are free to attach whatever title you want to it. Here is the gist. You ask yourself three questions before you start reading and close with a prayer. Here is the layout:
1.) What do you find remarkable about the text?
What sticks out to you? What do you find amazing or remarkable about God’s nature, God’s character, how an individual responds to God, etc.?
2.) What is the text saying or doing?
In other words, what is the Spirit saying to you through this text? What do you see happening in this text?
3.) What would it look like to join God in God’s activity?
This is application. How do you apply the text you just read to your life? Answering this question is important. If we are not applying what we read to our lives, we are missing the transformative aspect of God’s word.
I always close my “Dwelling In The Word” with a prayer focused on what I just wrote down.
A few more practical steps for reading that have helped me:
- Find a Bible reading plan. Reading random texts every day is not conducive for consistency.
- Read the same time everyday. I read in the morning before life happens. Regardless of when you read, I have found it helpful to read at the same time everyday. “I will read when I have free time” is a bad mindset to have when you want to maintain consistency.
- Remember why you are reading. God’s word is not a duty to be checked off everyday. It is an opportunity to commune with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. God does not think you are more awesome because you read the Bible everyday, but I promise you will think God is more awesome if you set aside time to be intimate with Him everyday.
“Dwelling In The Word” is so simple, but it has revolutionized my time in God’s word. I am now able to have structure when reading the Bible, and I am able to look back and see how the Spirit has been working in my life as I read through God’s word. If you have questions about this approach to studying the Bible, leave a comment at the bottom of the page. I would also be interested in hearing other methods that have been helpful to some of you.